How to UNBRICK LG LH3000 TV Sets
Ok, this will probably save you some bucks and your sanity.
LG TV from LH series allows you to do some firmware hacks, like HD video playback from usb devices (sticks and probably hdd). The procedure sounds like this: downgrade your firmware to 3.15, do the hacks, then upgrade to initial version. The hack will remain active after update. Or at least, in theory!
The plan was simple: I downloaded both 3.15 and 3.55 version of firmware (my TV had 3.55 version), I copied 3.15 on the usb stick, I downgraded then I did the changes I supposed to do, in order to get the TV to read usb devices. Everything was great! I tested, it worked.
I tried then to re-upgrade to 3.55. The upgrade was fine, except the fact the TV stopped working. The stand by led was red but the TV wasn’t responding to any commands. After a couple of hours of research, I found a method that had 50/50 chances to work: RS232!
What you will need:
- Hyperterminal. If you have Windows XP, you probably already have this. However, the trial version will do;
- A serial port on your computer. I had to search in all my boxes to find a COM Braket from an old (VERY old!) mainboard. Lucky me :P;
- A null modem cable. I wasn’t that lucky here. But I was lucky enough to have few DB9 female connectors from few years ago (when I really liked to make various gadgets on COM ports). So, here is what you will need:
- Two DB9 female connectors;
- A disposable USB cable with reasonable length (I found a 2 meters long one); Also, any 3 wired cable will do;
- A soldering iron for making connections;
- A steady hand.
Here is how you must wire the whole thing:
- You will also need a good firmware version. I used 3.15 (click to download) because I was like… SURE that will work
- Optional: A good UPS, to avoid any data loss.
Now, if you have all of that, do EXACTLY this way:
- Turn OFF your TV;
- Connect the cable on PC and on your TV;
- Start Hyperterminal;
- On the „New connection name” window just enter LG. You can use any name here, it is not important at all;
- On the „Connect To” window select the port you are using (I use COM1) then click on „Configure”;
- In the „Configure” window select:
- Bit rate per second: 115200;
- Data bits: 8;
- Parity: none;
- Stop bits: 1;
- Flow Control: none.
Hit „Apply” then „Ok” twice.
- Right now, „Hyperterminal” will wait for incoming connections. So… Let’s connect the TV!
- Turn ON the TV and press ESC key several times. If everything goes fine, you will see „Mstar #” prompt after 5-10 seconds;
- If you DON’T see that prompt you are kinda screwed and I cannot help you. Sorry man, I’m not a TV service guy
- If you are lucky enough to see that prompt, type
swuzthen hit Enter key (you will see some HEX mambo-jambo number);
- Go to Transfer->Send file menu;
- On „Filename” box select the 3.15 firmware and on „Protocol” box select „Zmodem” (not „Zmodem with Crash Recovery”);
- Hit „SEND” button and wait without touching ANYTHING else. Basically, just leave your computer for 30 min or so!
You need to wait for about 30 minutes or so for the file to be transferred. If everything goes fine, you will see a very fast-scrolling screen with EPROM informations. You don’t need to know those, but after few seconds you will see the prompt again. Don’t do anything else than turn off your damn TV, unplug the serial cable, turn it back on, admire how it works (it worked for me!) and never do this again! Seriously!
I had to try several times to succeed the transfer. I noticed that the transfer is stuck when the monitor goes to sleep, so you better disable monitor standby. Also, don’t do anything else on your computer. If you also get stuck with transfer, just turn off your TV and carefully re-do all steps above.
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- Tips & Tricks